On Forgiveness and Letting Go
“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” -Lao Tzu
A lot can change in two weeks.
The last time we communicated, we were commiserating on that imperfect fall we were having – the rain, the cold, the complete lack of expected fall perfection.
We talked about the whole concept of perfection and how it can trip us up if we forget to trust in the process (Perfection: The Myth and the Magic/ Let Go and Embrace a Little Magic).
And we explored the idea of letting go – one of fall’s greatest lessons for us, always reminding us to let go and let life flow.
And now, two weeks later, we look outside and we see fall in its fullest splendor: beautiful weather, vibrant color, and not a drop of rain (for the moment…).
We tend to be hyper-aware when things aren’t going according to plan…but when things are flowing along just perfectly, sometimes we actually forget to notice!
If you find yourself forgetting the lessons of fall right now, take a moment to pause, take a deep breath, and look all around you.
The partially naked branches of any nearby tree will happily remind you what this time of year is all about. And yeah, I just realized that came off like a suggestion to spend more time naked – but that’s not the point of THIS article.
The point of this article is to remind ourselves of the very important benefits of letting go.
The trees do it every year, and actually so should we.
When we last spoke, we spoke about letting go of our grip of control to allow the world to flow in its mysterious ways.
But today we’re looking at another kind of letting go: the practice of forgiveness.
And just in case we needed a SECOND reminder about this being the perfect time for all of this letting go…you might notice late this evening when you gaze up at the sky (and if you’re not in the habit of gazing up at the sky…START!) – a Full Moon.
What does a Full Moon have to do with forgiveness and letting go, you ask?
According to astrologer Yasmin Boland, the Full Moon is the ideal time to practice forgiveness and a powerful time for shedding the past:
“The energies build and build and build to the Full Moon and then…bang! There’s some Full Moon madness followed by a sort of cosmic lunar sigh…
The Full Moon then is all about peaking and releasing the old…It’s about releasing toxic thoughts, habits, ways of being, and indeed toxic people…
It’s letting go and clean-slate time. It’s when we should release the things we don’t want: guilt, fear, disappointment, jealousy – anything that’s counterproductive.” -Yasmin Boland
And it’s also the perfect time to release any resentment we’re holding onto towards our teachers – that is, everyone who annoys us, triggers us, pushes our buttons, or rubs us the wrong way.
These are our teachers.
We forgive them (in fact, we even thank them – I know, right?) – because it’s all a part of our greater journey of learning the lessons we came here to learn, and growing in the ways we need to grow. So we let go of those frustrations, those annoyances, the resentments.
As the poet Rumi reminds us, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
Are you ready to let go, forgive, and release what no longer serves you?
- Scroll on down for a simple practice that you can start using right now: Breath & Visualization Practice: 23,000 Opportunities to Let Go.
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Breath & Visualization Practice: 23,000 Opportunities to Let Go
What does it feel like to hold on?
Practice Letting Go Instead:
- Create a tight fist with each hand. Hold for a few seconds.
- Inhale deeply; exhale and release the fists. Notice the feeling of space created in each hand.
- Continue to breathe deeply in and out, with extra focus on each exhale.
- Visualize and feel any tension, stress, negativity, or pain leaving your body and mind with every exhale.
- Every time you exhale, imagine and feel your body becoming softer, and your mind more clear and empty.
Allow this new space to be filled with what DOES serve and support you now.
We take 23,000 breaths per day – therefore, we have 23,000 opportunities each day to let go of what no longer serves us.